Paul Branch, Sr.

Born: Wed., Jun. 27, 1917
Died: Thu., Jul. 22, 2010

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Sun., Jul. 25, 2010

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Paul Rudolph Branch, Sr., 93, of Morehead City, died July 22, 2010 at Carteret General Hospital.

Services will be held 2:00 pm Sunday at All Saints Anglican Church with the Reverend John Greyson and the Reverend David Linka officiating. Interment will follow at Bayview Cemetery.

Mr. Branch was born July 27, 1917 in Raleigh, NC. He was the son of Atlas M. and Nora Frances Hinnant Branch of Raleigh, NC. His education included Garner High School, Campbell College, Wake Forest College, all of NC, and Polytechnic Institute of Virginia. On April 16, 1944, he married Thelma Mintz of Wilmington, NC. He entered service in WWII as an Army Air Corps cadet, but developed hearing loss as a result of his training and was not able to continue. He was offered a desk job or a medical discharge, but instead volunteered for active duty in the European Theater of the war in the 10th Armored Division of General George S. Patton's US Third Army. He was in combat from the time he went ashore at Cherbourg, France, until the war's end. He saw action at St. Lo and Metz, France; Trier, Germany; and the Battle of the Bulge, to name a few, and survived having his tank knocked out by a German tank. On April 10, 1945, at Schwabisch Hall, Germany, he was awarded the Bronze Star for "advancing under intense enemy mortar, artillery, and sniper fire over exposed terrain, to capture an enemy mortar team."

Back at home after the war, he entered a Manager's Training Program with Roses 5 & 10 Stores in Henderson, NC, and at its completion took over their Virginia Beach store. His next store with this chain was Morehead City, NC. He remained here until he opened his own chain of stores located in Morehead City (which he now called home), Havelock, New Bern, and Newport, in the name of Branch's Variety Stores. After a period of fifteen years working for himself, he accepted a position with White's Variety Stores for manager of their Ahoskie, NC store, working for them for another fifteen years before he retired in 1983.

In 1951, still living in Morehead, he and his wife were two of 40 people who founded and built St. Andrews Episcopal Church. He served as grounds keeper, vestryperson, and treasurer while there. Over the years the church became divided and, after several years of litigation and soul searching, he and three-fourths of the congregation left St. Andrews in order to form their own church--"All Saints Anglican Church" of Morehead City.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Thelma, of the home, and son, Paul R. Branch, Jr. of Morehead City. His grandchildren are Stephanie R. Branch of Raleigh, NC, Erika P. Branch of Belhaven, NC, and a step-grandson, Jacob P. Sewell of Morehead City. He is also survived by one sister, Lois Adams, of Taylorsville, NC; one brother, J. Howard and wife Elma Branch of Charlotte, NC; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Douglas Branch of Cary, NC; and several nieces and nephews, among them his nephew Dr. Bernard and wife Barbara Bennett Branch of Lexington, KY, nephew Jerry and wife Gilda Branch of Raleigh, NC; nephew H. P. "Red" Benton of Wilson, NC; nephew Bradford and wife Kathy Branch of Atlanta, GA; niece Holly and husband Brent Kahl of Middlesex, NC; niece Sue and husband Robert Walker of Hendersonville, NC.

The family will receive friends 6:00 - 8:00 pm Saturday at Munden Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to All Saints Anglican Church Memorial Fund, 292 McCabe Road, Newport, NC 28570.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Funeral arrangements by Munden Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

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Sue and Dave Bonnett
   Posted Fri July 23, 2010
Dearest Thelma and Family:

We are so sorry for your loss. Paul was a wonderful storyteller, always entertaining, taught Dave and I so much about history, the war times, and many other things. From the beginning, we always felt welcomed.

Paul was our dearest friend and we will always miss his smiling face, his true Southern hospitality, and his wonderful stories.

May he rest in peace, and watch over his family. God bless all of you.

Love always,

Sue and Dave

Ronnie Woolard
   Posted Fri July 23, 2010

I don't know you personally but I am a member of the 1st/11th NC and have seen you often while we were conducting programs at Fort Macon.

Having lost my father several years ago, I can appreciate some of what you are feeling right now.

From reading the obituary, I am confident your father was (like mine) a man who set a good example for you to follow.

I wanted to exp4ess my condolences and ask that our Lord sustain your family as you adjust to life without him around.

Ronnie Woolard

Nancie Oakley
   Posted Sun July 25, 2010
My prayers and sympathy are with the family. Grew up with Paul Jr...I'm so sorry for your loss and pray you will remember the good times...

debra pohoresky tabuchi
   Posted Sun July 25, 2010
just wanted to say sorry for your lost, and i wanted to say i go to wal-mart alot and would see you two together shopping, you both look so happy together and to let you know that one day we will all be together again as you i see you are a christian..God bless you and your family!!!

Don Acree
   Posted Sun July 25, 2010
Thelma and Paul,
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family today.
I knew Paul was a good man and and an amazing man, but had no idea of the extent after seeing his obituary..... knowing that even that is just a snapshot.
May he rest in eternal peace with the Lord and may the Lord comfort you in your time of sorrow.

Eric L. Russ
   Posted Sun July 25, 2010
Our prayers and condolences are with the family.

Jeanne Wagner
   Posted Sun July 25, 2010
hey Paul!
so sorry to hear about your loss of your father. It is so hard to let go and so sad. Just realize how lucky we both were that our dads had such a long life and a very full life and so blessed that we had them as long as we did. The memories will forever be yours. There is so much change we must accept as we too get older. I will be thinking of you and your sweet Mother, Thelma-whom I have not seen in years but will always have good memories of!

meri northcraft turner
   Posted Mon July 26, 2010
So sorry for your loss. This breaks my heart to hear this sad news. It's never easy when we loose someone that we love; doesn't matter how young or old they are. Thelma and Paul Jr., I've thought about both of you often through the years in hopes that you all were doing well. My thoughts, prayers and love are with both of you and the family.

Todd Nichols
   Posted Tue July 27, 2010
I am so sorry to hear the passing of Mr.Branch,He was a really nice person.I serviced his home when I worked for a local Pest Control Company in Morehead.I will keep the family in my thoughts and Prayers.

Bob Berg
   Posted Tue July 27, 2010
I'm so very sorry to hear of your fathers passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

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